The Whaka 100 at Labour Weekend is no ordinary challenge for Rotorua mountain biker, Kate Bone. For starters it's one of the toughest endurance races in Australasia and, for her, there's double jeopardy.
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"My type one diagnosis, last year, was a total bolt of lightning in an otherwise normal sky," she says.
"Suddenly, my world was full of testing, needles, insulin and a whole host of other things I never had to pay attention to before."
Through all the tough stuff she was adamant that diabetes wouldn't stop her from doing anything that she wanted to do.
"And to prove that, mostly to myself, I needed a challenge," she continues.
"I ruminated on what this could be for some time, tossing the idea of Whaka100 around in my head. I spent a lot of time wondering what the heck I was thinking before finally hitting the submit button on my entry some five months ago.
"So the entering it seems was the easy part. Who would have thought? Now, with diabetes, it wasn't just as simple as jumping on my bike and heading out into the forest."
Early on she realised she was going to need some help.
"I enlisted Aaron Perry, local rider, fellow type one and all round good human. Under his direction we've mostly managed to navigate endurance training with diabetes. It's been a steep learning curve with a few holy moly moments, but, finally, I can feel the momentum.
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"The training is constant and sometimes relentless. Aaron often says I should feel like a piece of burnt toast after particular sessions. And yes, I can report that feeling like burnt toast isn't pleasant, albeit necessary. As with any training that spans a period of time there has been sickness, meltdowns, weather and actual life to work around.
"We worked on a Tuesday – Sunday programme that's entailed all sorts of stuff with a strong emphasis on hills."
All this around a busy professional life as an osteopath and running her own business, the appropriately named loveyourbones.co.nz .
She also has raced in as many events as she could to simulate and learn how diabetes might react on race day.
"There'll be many variables on the day that will affect my blood sugars that I can't control. However, the main one I can control is my nutrition. I worked closely with a nutritionist, Mikki Williden, to formulate a plan that would work on race day. It's been a lot of trial and error, but boils down to good old peanut butter sandwiches, kumara, apple and tailwind. And maybe flat Coke if I get really desperate.
"I'm very privileged to have tremendous support from all manner of people and local businesses. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for the hours, the support and the love. The journey wouldn't have been possible without you.
"So on the day, in those dark moments, one of which I'm sure will be going up Pondy Elevator, I'll be riding for the 25,000 type one diabetics in New Zealand. Just to show that having a lifelong illness isn't a determinant of achieving goals, no matter what size they are."
For more information about Type 1 diabetes see: www.jdrf.org.nz .